Friday, 1 October 2010

Review|The Assassin's Edge - Juliet McKenna

Yes, I know I promised to review Chaos Bound next. :) I'm still in the process of reading it, so, while I'm doing so, here's a slightly older review to tide you over! I recently reviewed The Gambler's Fortune by the same author, so I was anxious to see if Juliet McKenna's conclusion to the Tales of Einarinn could live up to its predecessors in the series. While The Gambler's Fortune is certainly accounted a good book, The Assassin's Edge is equally definitely a great one. And I'll explain why in due course, but first, a quick synopsis:

The final volume of the Tales of Einarinn cannot be described in detail - to reveal more than a bare handful of facts will almost certainly ruin the plot. Still, I'll give it a try. Livak and Ryshad are now residents of the Kellarin colony, and even most of the mercenaries, kept on to defend the settlement from any Elietimm invasion, have traded in their swords for farming implements of their choices. While Temar D'Alsennin endeavours to avoid his duties, more serious things are at stake: the first ships of spring will not be arriving, and the Elietimm are back at work. While this threat must be dealt with, a more permanent solution must now be found: and from the title, it might not be hard to guess.

So, what makes The Assassin's Edge a great book? Firstly, the characters experience genuine development: Temar and Allin especially are fun to watch, and newer characters, such as Naldeth, grow into fully-fledged protagonists. Secondly, I thought the magic system could become static after the upheavals of the first few books. I was, happily, wrong. New discoveries are made in a believable - and interesting - manner, and certainly do not serve the role of a deus ex machina: solving the plot in a handy, never-before-described way. Thirdly, the mages get some truly heroic moments, which I thought were lacking slightly in The Gambler's Fortune, and Sorgrad and 'Gren return once more to create relatively amiable havoc.

Although the scene in which one plot thread is resolved is a little concise, this really is the only flaw to the book, making it a definite:

9/10

Highly recommended - if you've read the earlier books.

8 comments:

  1. Just hopping by to say hello! I am following and can’t wait to read more from your blog. Here is my blog

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  2. Thank you very much for stopping by! I'm following back as well. :)

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  3. Glad to have found you via FF. I'm your newest Follower!

    I don't read a lot of high fantasy, but I'm always looking for recommendations. I see you're a Sanderson fan - I love the Mistborn series and really need to read the rest of his books.

    Have a great weekend!

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  4. Welcome! I'm following back as well. :) Yes, I loved the Mistborn books, though I didn't enjoy Elantris quite so much. Still good, though. My review's here:

    http://drying-ink.blogspot.com/2009/09/reviewelantris-brandon-sanderson.html

    I've got Warbreaker to read soon as well. Have a great weekend as well, and thanks for visiting and commenting!

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